Black Smith Jeju, Farm-to-Table Restaurant (Nohyeong-dong, Jeju)

Black Smith, a semi-upscale Italian restaurant with locations throughout Korea has rearrived in Jeju with a restructured menu and a bold new concept: farm-to-table dining using locally sourced organic ingredients in cooperation with local farmers. Focusing mostly on Italian and Western fare like pasta, pizza, and burgers, Jeju’s flagship restaurant is aiming to highlight Jeju’s natural resources: jeonbok (abalone), hanwoo (Korean beef), and heuk dweji (black pig).

With full disclosure, my girlfriend and I were invited to Black Smith’s media day held last Thursday to try out many of their new dishes served at the Jeju branch only. We visited one more time to try out some of their other “highly” recommended dishes as well. I will be up front with you, the place is a work in progress. Although I am a huge proponent of the farm-to-table movement and couldn’t have been more ecstatic to hear that a concept would be carried out to its fullest here in Jeju, the food itself needs to be totally revamped. In our two visits alone, five out of the six dishes we tried had serious issues in cooking technique, plating, and ingredient selection. Throw in the high prices, and I just can’t imagine this place staying open for very long. As much as I want this place to succeed, if you can’t make decent food at reasonable and justifiable prices, it’s a no-brainer of an outcome regardless of concept.

I will add that the head chef and manager (brought over from the Cheongdam branch) were both very friendly and receptive to feedback and suggestions. As part of their recent opening, they will offer local Jeju residents a promotional special that will be officially announced tomorrow. I recommend you check it out during this promotional event.

 

Food: ★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★½ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★ out of 5 stars

 

Black Smith (Jeju Branch)

711-3 Nohyeong-dong, Jeju City 3rd Floor (above Woori Bank)

Hours of Operation: Open every day from 11am ~ 10pm

Official Website (Korean only): http://www.blacksmith.co.kr/main.php

Directions to Black Smith: http://me2.do/xSuZGSTm

 

If you’re looking for another farm-to-table restaurant specializing in organic, locally sourced ingredients, I highly recommend Jeju Slobbie (pronounced “Slow-bee”). My last visit was early this year, but from what I remember, they were clicking on all cylinders (food, service, decor, vibe).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jejuslobbie

Official Website (Korean only): http://blog.naver.com/jejuslobbie

Directions to Jeju Slobbie: http://me2.do/FjLfdCPg

 

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Seafood Tomato Pasta @ 18,000 won. Nothing special here. And terribly curious why they hid the two (maybe three?) pieces of abalone under the pasta.
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Hanwoo Gorgonzola Cream Pasta @ 18, 000 won. Again nothing special. Noodles were a tad dry. The Hanwoo pieces were even drier.
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One of their salads. Steamed head of broccoli with julienned apples and red onions. The head was not cut into smaller pieces here, and needless to say, it was a nice forearm workout early in the appetizer round.
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Black Smith Big Bone Pork Steak at 42,00 for 2 people. Way too much fat content even for black pork. Obviously it was juicy and tender from the fat, but that’s all I could taste. Serving it with mushrooms and au gratin potato didn’t help either. Barely half was finished.
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Anshim Steak (Beef Tenderloin) @ 25,000 won. By far, this was the best dish and, at the very least, left some respectability to the restaurant. Very tender and cooked as requested, medium. Although slightly pricey, definitely on par with other steak joints.
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Jeonbok (Abalone) Risotta. The rice itself was fine, but the other components didn’t work. I take that back, they would have worked if they were cut smaller or used as a topping. Lastly, to our dismay, they used bitter/cunchy열무 young radish leaves/stems in this dish. The same ones used in ponytail kimchi 종각김치! WTH?
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Morning Steak at 18,000 won. They replaced the fries with cabbage slaw because they didn’t have access to a fryer, yet. We ordered this dish because they use 유정란 (fertile eggs) from one of the organic farms that we respect here in Jeju. Sadly to say, everything minus the eggs was a disaster. The two salads with their terrible sauces and the steak was almost rare (we asked for medium just like our tenderloin).
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If you look closely, you can see ice particles on these pickles. If you like iced pickles, you will like this complimentary side dish.

 

 

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